MotoGP: Marquez takes eighth successive win at the Sachsenring under pressure from a stunning rookie ride by home hero Folger
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team)-I’m happy enough with this podium. We worked very well this weekend, trying to manage every situation. In the race I felt really strong in the first laps and was able to stay close to Marc. Then I started to lose grip in the rear tyre, but I thought ‘Okay, no problem; it’s going to be a long race and it’s normal to lose some grip.’ But when Jonas passed me, I tried to follow and I couldn’t keep contact. I tried to manage but when I felt the tyre was spinning too much I settled for a podium. I expected to be a little bit stronger but all in all it was a positive result, as we gathered some good points for the Championship. I feel positive, we have two days to test during the summer, and we’ll work on the areas we know we must improve, especially to make the tyres work well no matter the conditions in order to be more consistent in the second part of the Championship.
That’s the way it stayed – with Marquez’ pitboard remaining +0.1 lap after lap, and the rookie not for giving up. Facing down the reigning Champion – chasing his eighth consecutive win at the track – Folger kept calm under incredible pressure, and even created some himself.
Finally it was a small mistake that saw Folger run deep, and Marquez pulled the pin to stretch the gap – eventually crossing the line for win number eight just over three seconds clear.
Folger kept it safe in the final laps to cross the line in second for his first premier class podium, sealing the deal in an incredible performance at his home race. Dani Pedrosa completed the podium after a more lonely ride in the latter stages, also bouncing back from a tough Dutch GP.
As the top ten battled it out further, Rossi had found his fourth under attack from Dovizioso, with Viñales then joining the fight and Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) soon on the scene. After some stunning wheel-to-wheel action, it was Viñales who took P4, with teammate Rossi for close company to complete the top five.
Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)-“I don’t really know what to say other than I am so happy and I still can’t quite believe what we achieved! I fought with Marc for the victory and we had a great performance. I especially showed that I can get on the podium, which is a super feeling and a big boost for my confidence. In the past, Johann had a lot of good races whereas I sometimes didn’t because I made some small mistakes, but today I finally feel like I showed my potential. I think that we have to enjoy this moment and take the positive points that we made here to Brno and into the rest of the season. Thanks to my team for their work and I am already looking forward to getting back on my Yamaha in the Czech Republic after the summer break.”
Bautista took P6 after proving a formidable force in the fight, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) crossing the line in seventh for a good haul of points for the Noale factory ahead of the summer break.
Championship leader going into the race, Dovizioso crossed the line in P9 and remains third in the standings – ahead of a stunning comeback from Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) to move through from P19 on the grid. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) completed the top ten, with Jorge Lorenzo crossing the line in P11 after running at the front earlier in the race.
Danilo Petrucci was another who fell back, taking twelfth ahead of another double points finish for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith. Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completed the top fifteen.
The summer break now awaits, with MotoGP™ next on track at the beginning on August. And the Championship? The reigning Champion has one hand back on the throne after his German GP win, now five points clear of key rival Maverick Viñales. Dovizioso is now third – one point behind Viñales as the upcoming Brno and Red Bull Ring shine with promise for Ducati. Rossi lurks in fourth, only another four points off, with Pedrosa still very much in the fight in fifth.